Dear Mr. Abrams,
I’ve followed your work for a long time now — Alias most especially, but I even remember Forever Young (and my mom loved Felicity) — but am not sure I know you well enough to call you J.J.
In any case, I was excited when I heard you’d be heading up the new Star Wars film, because I genuinely love the Star Trek reboot and all you’ve done there. And I could probably talk about Super 8 at length, but that’s just a detour toward the thing I actually want to tell you about.
Star Wars is one of the first films I can remember seeing, and it was certainly one of the first films to impact me and the way I viewed the world. Specifically, it was Princess Leia who opened my eyes to so many things, we’d probably be here a week as I listed them all.
The idea that a woman could be powerful. The idea that a princess in a pretty white dress could be a hero for the revolution. The idea that she could carry a gun just like the boys did — the notion that she was stronger than some of those very boys, willing to stalk after her beliefs, no matter what dark corridor (or trash compactor) they took her into.
Star Wars was the first franchise that stole my heart. It was the first franchise I cosplayed and the first franchise I bought toys from. My neighbor friend Patrick and I wished for huge winter snows, and when we got huge winter snows, we built a maze of tunnels to run our action figures through, because Hoth. We spent countless days buried in the snow, oblivious of the cold, because the AT-ATs were attacking our base and Princess Leia had negotiated a treaty with the wampa so we were about to win for always.
When I see you saying “Star Wars was always a boy’s thing,” I find it beyond ridiculous. You can’t erase half of a fandom. I was as invested as any boy — and I was and am very much a girl. A girl who grew into a woman, shaped by what Star Wars and a princess showed her was possible. Star Wars is a people-thing, see. It’s not, and never was, a boys-only playground. Don’t make that into a thing.